To call it a rare chance would be an understatement. And understatement is not something Andy Warhol or David LaChapelle had become famous for! Works by these striking artists are included in PRIDE, an extraordinary online auction benefiting Fire Island Artist Residency and Queer NY Festival, available at Paddle8 now through June 26. The auction is organized with support from dot429 and InTandem Creatives.
“Crossing the spectrum in terms of medium, subject, and tone, these works speak to the dynamic community spirit of LGBT artists, and are unified in their rarity and flawless provenance,” says Matthew Knight, the auction specialist.With starting bids and estimates ranging from $300 to $50,000+ for a collection featuring stunning rarities like Keith Haring originals and a selection of Robert Mapplethorpe prints with artist’s handwritten framing instructions should excite any art expert or aficionado.
Kevin Sessums, Editor in Chief of FourTwoNine magazine and New York Times bestselling author of “Mississippi Sissy,” shares an unparalleled perspective on the importance of such auctions: “Some of my favorite pieces of art on my own wall were bought at auctions in the past for ACT UP and AIDS charities. I bought works by Francesco Clemente and David Hockney and Ellsworth Kelly at those auctions. I not only love looking at those pieces on my walls now years later but also I love knowing that bidding on them was a kind of artistic way to be an activist and contribute to LGBT causes. This kind of art auction has a long and important tradition within our community.”
There is as much pure eye candy as thought-provoking or spiritually-fulfilling offerings at Paddle8: Pride auction. Fashion photographers Bruce Webber who is responsible for some of the most (in)famous Vogue and Vanity Fair spreads and covers as well as Nan Goldin who shoots campaigns for the likes of Dior, Bottega Veneta and Jimmy Choo reveal the queer sensitivity of their lens gaze in a selection from three decades of the artists’ non-glossy oeuvre. The (homo)erotic imagery is covered by a diverse array of studies in desire/desirability from the explicit fantasies in Tom of Findland sketches to intimacy of Ryan James MacFarland documentary photographs.
Historic pieces such as 1994 Act Up Art Box and Annie Leibovitz portrait of Liberace and longtime companion Scott mix well with the contemporary irony of Battle Armor with Codpiece by Karen Heagle and abstract paintings by Laurel Sparks. Solid Gold Clit by Sophia Wallace and Ad Vitam Aut Culpam (For Life or Until Fault) by Maria E. Pineres highlight the creative crafts potential. The urban and rural “terrains vagues” spaces within which queer desire is played out, trapped, liberated are communicated in the works of Oliver Boberg and the PaJaMa collective.
The luminous wonder-spirit of PRIDE auction is perhaps best summarized by a Michael Velliquette collage in which a deconstructed rainbow spectrum emerges at once as a target, a shield and in an apt title as a Power Center.